Using a printer is an essential part of a college student’s everyday life. Instead of going to a cafe, library, or classroom the right printer can get fresh copies printed right in their dorm room. Technology allows modern students to have a scanner, fax machine, copy machine, and printer without cutting into their book budget. Beware: not all printers are made equal! Some are intended for colorful, vibrant images and graphics. Some work best with nothing but text, cranking out endless copies with crisp outlines. Choosing the right one for your college student needs is as easy as following our four tips!
It makes no sense to load in a whopping office printer when you crash in bunk beds. Dorm rooms are small, and a college printer should match! Fortunately, there are a wide variety of printers on the market which lean towards the smaller side. Wireless printers are a good option for college students. Because they aren’t tethered to a laptop or computer they can be placed anywhere in the room. They don’t need to be stationary so space-conscious students can store the machine, only pulling it out when needed. An all-in-one printer may offer additional benefits for those expecting to fax, copy, scan, and print. All-in-one printers are a single machine which is capable of a variety of functions. College students participating in advanced classes may benefit from having a do-it-all type of printer! New technology makes certain models just as compact as print-only printers.
There are two main types of printers that will work well for college students: inkjet and laser. Inkjet printers work just as the name implies – by squirting jets of ink onto the paper. This process leads to beautiful high-quality prints. The vibrant colors created by the ink is ideal for students who print lots of artwork, graphs, or charts. The downside is ink cartridges tend to be a little pricey which makes inkjet less cost-effective for high-volume printing. Laser printers use colored powders called toner to imprint images and text on paper. While graphics and photos may not come out quite as pretty as inkjet prints, laser is king of the text world. It’s hard to beat laser printers for college students who print a lot of text such as essays or reports!
Printer resolution is measured in dots per inch (DPI). The rule of thumb is the higher the DPI, the higher quality image. Anyone who’s worked in an office before knows a scanned copy of a document looks less clear than the original; this is because of a lower DPI from the copying process. Most documents thrive at a minimum DPI around 300 – copies are approximately 200. College students with a creative major will want their images to come out as clear as possible. Because of this, creative students should aim for a printer with a minimum of 300 DPI for high-quality prints. Higher DPI capacity never hurts! Even text-based printing can see a boost from higher resolution.
Not all printers use supplies the same way! A big factor in the cost of printers is the consumables. Ink and toner cartridges are famously expensive. Researching which printers use less ink and toner in advance will help save money. Some printer manufacturers will ‘bundle’ a few years’ worth of ink or toner into the cost of the machine. This will result in a higher up-front cost but a lower cost throughout the printers’ lifespan. Expecting to use a lot of ink? Consider a recycling program with a trusted print supply company! Recycling old cartridges can save costs on replacement, making it a wise choice. Talk with your local print supply store about your needs to find the best option. For help choosing the right printer for you, contact Vegas Ink and Toner.